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Better Buildings Summit: Partners Highlight Solutions, Innovations, and Opportunities

June 13, 2014 - 10:42am

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Watch the video above to learn how the Better Buildings Challenge is benefiting organizations throughout the nation.

Energy efficiency is transforming America’s clean energy economy: it is cost-effective and holistic. Efficiency improvements often go beyond a single technology, reaching an entire system, whole-building or spanning an entire building portfolio and can drive savings of 20 to 30% portfolio-wide.

To help lower the expense of energy and accelerate improvements in building performance, the Energy Department is partnering with more than 190 American businesses and organizations, city and state governments, universities and school districts who have stepped up to President Obama’s challenge to reduce energy use across their building portfolios by 20% in ten years. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, the Energy Department is helping move leading organizations toward the path of energy efficiency so they can, on their own and with the support of other leaders, find the best ways to improve how their buildings use energy.

At last month’s Better Buildings Summit, the Energy Department recognized Better Buildings Challenge Partners for the progress they are making in meeting their 20% goals and amplified the solutions they have implemented to improve efficiency. Partners are on track to achieve their organizations’ energy performance goals and have collectively saved $300 million since the program launched in 2011. Also announced were 26 new Partners (and 7 Financial Allies), including Walmart, Whole Foods, Hilton Worldwide, the City of San Diego, Penn State University, and manufacturers like General Mills, Eastman Chemical, and Volvo, who together pledged more than 1 billion square feet of building space. Be sure to browse the many solutions featured by Partners at the Summit at the Better Buildings Challenge website and check out the 5 Habits of Energy Efficiency Leaders, and our Infographic: Leaders Cutting Energy Waste in the U.S

Partners shared new ideas at the Summit, and offered tips on how others can reap the same benefits as them from energy efficiency. In doing so, Partners moved innovative and proven approaches into the marketplace, as well as demonstrated the power of setting an energy efficiency goal and working to achieve it, to improve the bottom lines of their organizations or programs. These solutions apply to a diversity of sectors and building types, and include showcase projects and implementation models that detail actual energy upgrades as well as broader business, financial, and organizational strategies for improving the efficiency of buildings, residential properties, or industrial plants.

Recently the White House Blog noted several Better Buildings Partners among other things in a series of state fact sheets. Click on your state’s fact sheet to see how Better Buildings is making a difference in your area.

Partners in the Better Buildings Challenge make a commitment to reduce energy use across their building portfolios by 20% or more over 10 years. More than 190 Partners are committed to implementing energy efficiency across their organizations, representing more than 3.3 billion square feet of building space. These organizations share successful solutions with each other - models proven to drive energy efficiency in the marketplace. By sharing energy data on the performance of their buildings and documenting how they achieve their results, Better Buildings Challenge Partners foster collaboration across sectors and amongst their peers, which further drives energy efficiency gains for all.

Maria T. Vargas is the director of the Better Buildings Challenge and was inducted into the Energy Efficiency Forum Hall of Fame yesterday in Washington, D.C. 

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